July 23, 2012
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET):
Wide Angle Camera (WAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
7 (748 nanometers)
The large crater towards the decanter of the image is approximately 105 km (65 mi.) in diameter.
This large crater near the center of the image is in need of a name, and you could name it
! This complex crater has been deformed by Victoria Rupes
, a scarp that formed as a result of global contraction
. At the center of the crater floor lies an irregularly shaped volcanic vent
, which appears bright and orange in color images
obtained by MESSENGER.
This image was acquired as part of MDIS's high-incidence-angle base map. The high-incidence-angle base map complements the surface morphology base map of MESSENGER's primary mission that was acquired under generally more moderate incidence angles. High incidence angles, achieved when the Sun is near the horizon, result in long shadows that accentuate the small-scale topography of geologic features. The high-incidence-angle base map was acquired with an average resolution of 200 meters/pixel.
The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation
are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. In the mission's more than three years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
For information regarding the use of MESSENGER images, see the image use policy.